Turning up early, sion_a and I caught the tail-end of the Princesses Parade -- a cartful of pikey princesses followed by some drum-majorettes, and a woman with a huge cellophane dress and vast wings made of (as far as I could tell) sticky-backed-plastic and glitter.
We attempted to buy two hot-dogs from a stall run by the Scouts, which took twice as long as it should have done because they got our order-number out of sequence and then pretended that the sausages "just needed a bit longer" when they'd already served several other people who ordered *after* us with exactly the same order. Fortunately I just about managed to finish mine before our 'concert' started...
We didn't play too badly, we've definitely done better but the audience seemed to enjoy it. One little girl danced delightedly to everything until her parents dragged her away; one man came up to us at the end and said how much he'd loved the RAF music (we did the RAF March Past), it had made his day, & Cranwell couldn't've done it better. (!) The young lads doing battle with plastic lightsabres seemed to enjoy the Star Wars medley, too.
Orchestrations over, we wandered around the stalls -- mostly jumble-sale consisting of broken toys and general tat, and tombolas consisting of cans of special brew, ASDA bubble-bath, hideous teddy bears and other similarly delectable prizes. One stall actually had some books with more words than pictures, and I came away with two Elizabeth Davids, one Enid Blyton, one Anne Digby, and "the Jaffa cookbook", this last solely for the amusement value. All only 10p or 15p each, so I don't feel too guilty about the money.
It had been threatening rain all morning but just as the carnival seemed to be thinking about winding down, suddenly the skies opened and for about 15 minutes the rain was too heavy for my umbrella to stand up to it. That basically finished the carnival off, as everybody ran inside and/or struggled to shovel soggy merchandise into bags, soggy boxes, and cars. We were marooned under a rather inadequate tree but as a result had an entertaining conversation with a chap who was in a band (with his son) called Shandy & Coke (which was what they were drinking when the people at the pub they were playing in asked what their name was -- they'd never bothered to think of one before). Promised to look out for him around Cambridge.
Spent the rest of Saturday afternoon tidying the library. You still can't see the floor, but the books are now organised into piles of "things to give away/sell", "things to return to their rightful owners", etc.. I don't know what to do with the stuff to sell; most of it isn't really worth putting on Amazon as it'd only make a couple of quid at most, but those couple-of-quids would make a difference to me so I don't really want to just give them away. I also feel a bit guilty selling stuff to friends, though I'm
not quite sure why.
Sunday's concert was at Marshalls open day for family of employees; we played in Hangar 17, which had *interesting* acoustics -- in the sense that it's interesting to hear the last 2 bars of every piece played back to you after you've stopped playing... Having said that, it apparently sounded good from where the audience was wandering past, and we did overhear somebody official-sounding asking our conductor whether we'd want some kind of baffles set up to sort out the acoustics "if we were going to become regulars at this event". Which bodes well for future gigs.
After playing, I intended to collect my free burger & drink and then go straight home, but it was gloriously sunny and the airfield was full of SHINY PLANES. Watched three Cessna 172s and an Aztec flying in incredibly tight formation (it was lovely to see slow and well-executed formation-flying rather than the flashy blink-and-you-miss-'em Red Arrows for a change) and, along with 7000 other people, went "oooooh!" at the Gypsy Moth. And the Tiger Moth. And the Spitfire. And...
They had cars (mostly modern, but I did get to sit in an E-type Jag) and motorbikes, too. I thought of brrm when I saw the 1953 AJS and other machines of its ilk, but sadly didn't have a camera.
Got home and decided that it was time I took my poor neglected pto452 out for a run. (I've been avoiding driving her because the speedo still isn't working. While she's never going to break the national limit [and I'll hear it from the engine tone if I'm going over 40mph], it's quite likely that I could accidentally do 33mph in a 30 zone without noticing.) Happily sion_a agreed to come along for the ride (driving is always better with good company) and we pottered over to Grantchester, coincidentally wandering along the river just in time to see the Summerthing
setting off rather precariously in three punts rafted together. They nearly ran over a swan in the process, but both they and the swan seemed to escape unscathed. (Vicious things, swans, you know.) We had a quiet drink in the Green Man and pottered home again.
Back home I finished reading Thunderball -- having previously read Casino Royale, and I'm still boggling at just how nasty the Bond books are, and how unlike the films -- and then tidied my room (a task which was long overdue). I can now see the floor. I have also identified some more tat to get rid of on ucam.adverts.giveaway, where all good rubbish wants to go when it dies.
What with plane-ogling and river-wandering I have managed to sunburn myself quite spectacularly. Ow. Aloe Vera++.